Earlier this week I had a conversation with a colleague who is just getting a start in to the real world of recording full-time. The topic of the discussion was “Burn-out” so I thought it would be a great little issue to comment on.
People think making music is fun and that the creative process is always an energizing positive one. It certainly can be all of those things and is most times, but even so, it is exhausting physically and mentally.
Making records enables us to be very creative and because of this we become very internally invested in an album. It is very easy to become so involved in a project (or numerous projects all at once) that taking a break is a foreign thought.
Adrenaline runs high and days/weeks/months can go by in an instant, but before long, something will suffer. It could be anything from your own physical and mental health, your relationships, the quality of the project, and everything else in between.
Yes, sometimes there are deadlines and/or planning issues that can be difficult to navigate where “burning the candle at both ends” might be necessary, but be honest with your artists if you need a breather…I’m sure they can relate. If anything, explain that if they expect your very best, even from an ear-fatigue perspective, time is needed.
Often when I’m mixing, every hour or so, I’ll step outside for one minute – it is amazing what even just walking for an instant outdoors can do. Getting out of the space physically helps giving the brain and ears a quick reset.
It is very important to rejuvenate your creative energy AND if nothing else, give your ears a rest.